Saturday, April 29, 2017

Spring's Migrants Have Been Dropping In

                                                                    Green Heron

                                                                  Yellow Warbler

                                                                Red-winged Blackbird

                                                             White-crowned Sparrow

                                                                   Pied-billed Grebe

                                                      Northern Rough-winged Swallows

                                                                    Savannah Sparrow

                                                                   Franklin's Gull

                                                                   White Pond Lily

                                                                 Yellow-rumped Warbler

                                                               Clay-colored Sparrow

                                                                    Red Eared Slider

                                                                   Green Heron Nest

                                                              Yellow-headed Blackbird

04-23 through 04-28-17

It was cooler, cloudier, and rainier this week, but when it was clear, rising barometric pressure
and a good south wind, the migrants came through as expected.

My most productive days were Sunday and Thursday, which broke a couple of those general rules, which is why one can't alway leave everything to chance.  Some of my best visitors were there on top migrant days, though.  This is why one must look everywhere, especially behind you from time to time, as once those birds pass, those rear ends don't make for good photos.

The Green Herons built a nest, but circumstances are not the best for them.  One of my adults is paired with a juvenile, which means that they can't breed quite yet.  Last week's photo shows a bird in breeding plumage.  However, if you compare it with this week's bird, you'll see the difference.  The above bird doesn't have bright orange legs and still has juvenile plumage.  The third bird also seems to have gone elsewhere, too.

I'm pleased that I was able to get a decent shot of the migratory Franklin's Gull in flight.  It wasn't out of range of my camera lens, so you're able to see its distinguishing characteristics and see the dark wingtips which differentiate it from the Bonaparte's Gull.  Bonaparte's shouldn't even be here at this time of year, either.

It's good to see those sparrows coming in.  The water's edge grasses are filled with Clay-colored Sparrows, and I also found a beautiful adult White-crowned Sparrow, too.  The above Savanah Sparrow came from the OSU Dairy Barns property, and the water lily was located at Sanborn Lake.

My best photo of the Yellow-headed Blackbird was at Boomer Lake, not the dairy barns!  You will find more of them with the cattle, though.

I was both pleased and surprised to get all the Northern Rough-winged Swallows perched on a snag, and it was even better that I was fortunate enough to have them all looking at me.   They are plain brown birds with hooks on their wingtips.

The warblers haven't really infiltrated the lake, but those crowds of Yellow-rumped Warblers are on their way north.  Our Western Kingbirds are around as well, as I saw a good group on the wing on Friday.  I heard and observed the Orchard Oriole, and with any luck, the rain needs to hold off tomorrow so I can get out there and let you know what birds came in before the storm.

Happy birding!